Summary: Excellent idea and works well, but be careful of the snaps rusting.
This is an extremely clever design, adjustable to different neck sizes, and fast to convert to either a short "handle" type of leash or a little bit longer leash (I'd guess about 2 feet long?). It's very strong, the leash is part of the collar, not attached to the collar, so it's not going to break or weaken even if your dog is a strong puller. The leash portion attaches fairly flat to the collar via two metal snaps and velcro strips (release one snap/velcro strip for the short leash, two for the longer version). It's very fast (a few seconds) to convert to a leash, takes a little bit more time (maybe a minute) to stow the leash back against the collar.
I have a pretty large, tall dog (Pyrenees mix, his neck reaches about my hipbone). I can grab his collar without really bending. If your dog is a bit shorter than mine, the "handle" length would be perfect for close control like navigating through a crowd. For me, it's a little less "close" control but still useful. Mostly I use the longer length, for walking short distances. This collar is perfect for when you just need to get through a parking lot to the dog park, or you're not sure if you will need a leash so you don't want to drag one around just in case. I take my dog to work so I use this to navigate through the halls. Dogs can hike off-leash on fire-roads in my county recreation areas, but not on trails, so I use this if I need to keep him on leash on a short trail spur til we get to the fire road. It is also super handy if you simply forget to bring a leash.
There is one down-side that I didn't notice until too late: the snaps are not rust-proof. I am not sure if this is mainly a problem with salt water, or any water. My dog goes in the ocean, ponds, and sometimes the rain. One of the snaps rusted through so it can't snap anymore. This does not affect the usefulness or safety, it just means that now, only velcro is stowing that part against the collar when not in use. If you have a dog with a fluffy undercoat, like mine, velcro picks up the fluff and "sticks" less effectively, so sometimes this means that the handle-segment of leash will come away from the leash without me wanting it to. Previously, the snap would prevent that. I have to really clean off the velcro to keep it holding well.
Still, this is a super-cool, useful product and everyone who sees it in action asks for a demo and wants to know where to buy it. I am debating about replacing my old one with a color I like better (I got the green when it was on an amazing sale here, and it's a nice, muted grass-green, but I just think the red or ice-blue would look nicer with my dog's color) and possibly in the larger size, and just trying to remember to dry the snaps off thoroughly when they get wet. If in future the company makes the snaps of a rust-proof metal, this will be an absolutely perfect product.
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Review 2 for Ballistic Dog Insta-Leash (M/L)
3 of 3 found this review helpful.
This company stands behind their products!
Date:June 24, 2011
Breed:Chesapeake Bay Retriever
I purchased this Ballistic Dog Insta-Leash from Entirely Pets and was thrilled with it -- for a couple of days. It is a great concept! and very useful for walking and hiking with my large dog, mostly off leash. But I had an issue with mine not working properly, after only a few uses. I contacted Ballistic Dog -- and I was extremely impressed with their response. I got a call back within a matter of hours, and not only were they concerned about my non-working leash, they sent a replacement, the same day. The new leash I got is much better than the first one. I look forward to using it on many happy walks in the future & will be heartily recommending this product and this company -- You simply cannot go wrong with a company who stands by their products like this one does.
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Review 3 for Ballistic Dog Insta-Leash (M/L)
Balistic Dog Insta-leash
Date:March 1, 2010
Breed:German Shorthair Pointer
One of the best products of its kind out there. I'm here to buy another.